The Brathay Trust

Wed 20th March 2019 at 18.30 - 20.00

The Brathay Trust builds meaningful, high quality, relationships with young people. They are built on respect, care, and unconditional positive regard.

Our visitors from the Brathay Trust
At our meeting on Wednesday 20th March we had three guests from the Brathay Trust. Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive and youth workers from their Barrow Operation, Natalia Weallans-Turner and Rebecca Brown.
Godfrey opened the presentation by introducing his team and telling us some of the background of the Brathay Trust. He told us that it was formed in 1946 by Francis C Scott the owner of what then was the Provincial Insurance Company, with a HQ in Kendal. From the beginning the focus was to develop leadership and that is still the central theme, each year helping over 8000 young people make positive choices in their life! He told us that he is an Enterprise Advisor at Walney School, again helping young people make choices, preparing them for a world of work and showing them the range of opportunities that are available to them.
He told us that at Brathay Hall they have a Corporate Team Business which generates £1 million per year which enables them to offer most of the services they provide. They still must fund raise and talked briefly about the Windermere Marathon they will be holding on the 19th May, we have been asked to assist with stewarding.   
Natalia then took over, talking about their operation in Barrow which operates out of the Project John Hub in Cavendish Street. They began by consulting widely surveying young people, their parents, employers, schools and other professionals. They did not want to develop services which were not required and quickly had a list of “worries” which required a variety of solutions.
Some were worried about Drugs and Alcohol abuse, others about Young People’s Mental Health, Waiting lists – particularly for Mental health services. The long list was taken by their research department at Brathay Hall, the numbers were crunched, the data digested and a Project Plan developed.
They were fortunate that Project John were in the process of developing their Hub of services at Cavendish Street and found the facilities dovetailed into their project perfectly. She and Rebecca both work out of the Hub and told us the sort of things they do. Rebecca told us about the café she runs and gave us an example of one client who had severe social issues and was encouraged to work in the café. It took him out of his comfort zone and now he is flourishing and developing social skills and confidence.
Natalia has worked with students from Sandside Lodge, they had an 8-week course at the Hub, working in a range of areas and thoroughly loved the experience. She also has a Boys Club every week at Senior Schools, a project at Furness Academy deals with understanding emotions, building effective routines. Food and Mood is one of their topics, making informed choices about diet and how it can impact on their emotions. They also offer free workshops on staying safe online, recognising grooming attempts. All the secondary schools in Furness are involved, last time 800 were trained in their workshops and another round is about to begin.
We were then shown a short film developed by their Multi- Cultural Youth Club. The club researched the background and with the help of Signal Films made the film celebrating the areas multi-cultural history and premiered to a very distinguished audience headed by the Lord Lieutenant, it was well received and can be seen on YouTube – “Talking Histories”.
Godfrey closed by talking about the tragic death of Matt Campbell, the Kendal Chef who died taking part in the London marathon whilst running for the Brathay Trust. Consequently, a considerable amount was raised in Matt’s memory and that now helps to fund a special project. Dowdales and Walney Schools have been asked to identify 12 to 15 young people who will benefit from a boost. The project will last for one term of the school year and will enable the participants to take part in a wide number of different experiences. There is support across the district for the project which will run and run thanks to Matt!
So much information and too little time to deliver it, President Colin had to call time with no chance for any questions, Gordon Turner had the final say as a loyal supporter of Brathay, said he was shell shocked by the range of services they were offering, particularly here and asked us all to show our appreciation of our speakers.